2011 Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame Induction
August, 2001 - Pinehurst, NC
The Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame class of 2011 was inducted at a ceremony held in the Carolina Ballroom at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, NC on Sunday, August 14, 2011.
The evening included recognition of past inductees represented by family members or appearing in person. They were; Peggy Kirk Bell represented by son-in-law Pat McGowan; John Derr; Bill Hensley; Happ Lathrop; and Don Padgett represented by his widow, Joanne and son, Don Padgett II.
Jim Connors, Sports Director of Carolina News 14 introduced the evening’s first inductee, PGA Tour professional, Scott Hoch. Connors’ opening remarks included numerous highlights from Hoch’s early career starting with, “Hoch’s Broughton High School team won every match it played, won the state championship every year he was there.”
During his acceptance speech, Raleigh native Scott Hoch attributed his professional success with the fact that in all of his developing years he competed with and against the best of his time. The most notable group was his fellow Wake Forest University team mates; Curtis Strange, Jay Haas, and David Thore, widely regarded as the best college golf team of all time. “My dad was concerned about me going to a college that already had such a great team. Playing with the best made me better.”
Hoch expressed thanks to many along the way. “Roger Watson, another Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame inductee taught me so much about the game.”
Hoch shared another career highlight, “I was the only golfer in history to play a round with three presidents and a king; George Bush, Sr., Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and the king of comedy, Bob Hope.”
Next to the podium was Ronnie Grove, regular four-ball partner and great friend to Larry Boswell, an amateur golfer with a remarkable record. Grove was quick to point out, “Although Larry may be a great golfer, he is better known for being great human being. I have never met anyone who had an unkind word about Larry, and I have never heard Larry speak an unkind word about anyone else. “
Prior to his induction, Jim Hyler, USGA President, communicated the following to the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame, “I have known Larry for a number of years. He is a true gentleman, very humble and just a great guy. His playing record is superb the details of which you know very well. I hope he will be considered. I cannot think of anyone who is more deserving.”
In his acceptance speech, Boswell said, “In 1969, after watching the Carolinas Golf Association Four-Ball Championship at Camden Country Club, I told a friend that I want to be good enough to play in these state events. I wasn’t very good at the time. Two pros help me along the way Keith Wright from my home town and Norman Flynn, the pro at Lexington Country Club.”
The work paid off. Boswell currently holds 14 Carolinas Golf Association championships, the most recent being the Carolinas Super-Senior. He has completed in 14 USGA Championships.
Boswell credited much of his success to Mooney Player, a renowned high school coach. “Mooney didn’t play golf, but viewed all competition in the same way. He taught us that a game, a golf match or for any event, the key is the preparation. Put all of your effort into the preparation and then go enjoy the competition and be satisfied with the results.”
Bill Hensley was inducted into this hall of fame in 2000 and like his fellow inductee Howard Ward, their contributions to golf had little to do with the quality of their game and much to do with their contribution to the enjoyment of golf for all those around them.
During his introduction, Hensley said, “Every day you hear someone cuss the news media. But you have never heard anyone cuss Howard Ward. And you never will. That’s because he’s an old-school journalist, a straight-shooter who writes it as he sees it and has no axes to grind. The voters made an outstanding and a popular choice. He is one of my dearest friends.”
Howard Ward worked for the Fayetteville Observer for 41 years, the last 27 years as sports editor, retiring in 1997. He has worked since 1998 as lead golf writer for The Pilot newspaper in Southern Pines/Pinehurst, and has free-lanced for Triad Golf Today, Triangle Golf Today, Golfweek, Golf World and Golf Magazine, as well as for newspapers in Great Britain and Canada. He was editor of the Golf Record of the Carolinas for eight years, has been a CGRA member since 1970. He's covered scores of national championship including 22 Masters. In addition, he has covered events of Carolinas Golf Association, Carolinas PGA Section events and numerous local events.
Ward’s relationship with the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame is so extensive that he has performed the introduction for four other of this hall’s alumni. Being his usual humble self, Ward remarked, “I can’t figure how this happened. I’ve never accomplished anything in golf to merit something like this. All I have ever done is chronicle the accomplishments of others.”
Surrounded by family and friends, Ward was quick to thank his wife, Jeanette; better known in his column as “BW”. He reminded the crowd, “BW stands for Beautiful Wife although I DID have to convince her it did NOT stand for Bitchy Wife.”
There was a large contingent from Ward’s other column regulars, referred to as the Gangsome of Gate Four. And there was much discussion about who in the audience was responsible for his significant losses in wagers over the years.
Ward told a great story about his early relationship with Raymond Floyd. What began as cub reporter basically stalking a PGA professional turned into a long term relationship of mutual respect. “The 1991 Ryder Cup has to rank up there with anything I’ve covered. Floyd and Chip Beck, both Fayetteville natives, were members of the U.S. Team and that made it unbelievably exciting.”
“I’ve covered Moore County amateur championship for both men and women. It has been awesome to see Paul Simson and Patty Moore dominate. Going back to 1970’s, I covered the the North and South Championship and take full credit for both Curtis Strange and Gary Hallberg of Wake Forest winning back to back.”
“As my late mother-in-law Jewel Coupland once told me, ‘You’re the only person I’ve ever known who makes his living doing his hobby’”.
About the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame: Founded in 1981, it recognizes individuals who have contributed to the game of golf and have a connection to the Carolinas. The plaques commemorating all of the inductees is housed in the convention hall of the Carolina Hotel of Pinehurst Resorts. The Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame is under the care of the Carolinas Golf Association.
To learn more about the Carolinas Golf Association to www.carolinasgolf.org